Shradha Suri Marwah takes charge as ACMA's new president
Shradha Suri Marwah, who is chairperson of Subros and takes over from Sunjay Kapur as the head of the Automotive Component Manufacturers’ Association of India, plans to enhance the focus on component exports, diversity and inclusion, faster and quicker localisation and a sustainable value chain.
Shradha Suri Marwah, the Chairperson of Tier 1 major Subros, which is a key supplier of automotive air-conditioning systems to vehicle manufacturers in India, has taken charge as the new President of the Automotive Component Manufacturers’ Association of India (ACMA) for a two-year term.
Vikrampati Singhania, Managing Director of J.K. Fenner (India), has been appointed as Vice-President, ACMA, for the 2023-25 term.
Marwah, who has been elevated from the position of ACMA’s Vice-President, took over the reins from Sona Comstar Chairman Sunjay Kapur, who served as the apex component industry body’s president for the last two years. Handing over the leadership to his successor, Kapur said: “The industry is in exciting times and undergoing a massive transformation, which is being led by technology. We must ensure that ACMA members undertake sustainability seriously to drive future growth.”
Speaking exclusively to Autocar Professional, Marwah said, “An export impetus, diversity and inclusion, faster and quicker localisation of components, and a sustainable value chain are the top things on my agenda.”
SUSTAINABILITY AS A GROWTH DRIVER
The theme of ACMA’s 63rd annual convention, held on September 13, was 'Mobility 360 – Sustainability and Competitiveness' and, according to Marwah, as more companies realise the benefits of sustainability on their top and bottom lines, they will accelerate their efforts.
She said, “Companies have the potential to increase up to 30 percent of their valuations by adopting sustainability-led practices. ACMA'S new president further stated that the association is driving several sustainability initiatives, and the endeavour of companies would reach an inflection point and explode in the coming years.
“We do not just want sustainability targets to be met at the Tier 1 level, we want to drive it through the entire value chain, including the MSMEs. We have a robust cluster programme with over 40 clusters which are already working towards strengthening the Tier 2 and Tier 3 suppliers and taking them through this journey of competency and sustainability enhancement,” she added.
DRIVING TOWWARDS ATMANIRBHARTA
Addressing the concern of high import content for India Auto Components Inc, Marwah said that while two years ago, the domestic components manufacturing industry had a trade deficit of US$ 2 billion, it was reduced to only US$ 200 million in FY2023. “In FY2024, we expect to eliminate the deficit altogether. Having said that, while imports are declining rapidly, there are still some component areas, where there is still a struggle.”
“We are commissioning a new study which would identify some low-hanging auto-electronic components, and specifically see how we could increase their localisation over the next five years. We would certainly seek government support towards it,” said Marwah.
“A lot of our members have taken advantage of the PLI schemes, and we are gung-ho about it. While certain areas like chip manufacturing promise enormous growth, one needs intensive capital to invest in these domains. Around two years ago, the automotive industry contributed to only 7 percent of the total chip consumption, which has already breached 15 percent. It is only slated to grow further, and therefore, those who have the capacity to invest, will benefit from the growth potential,” she added.
STAYING ON TOP OF THE FAST-CHANGING AUTOMOTIVE LANDSCAPE
With growing electrification and a move towards sustainable mobility solutions, Marwah said that the industry’s landscape is changing rapidly, and there is an increasing inflow of manpower with electronics and electrical expertise into the automotive sector. “The ACMA start-up vertical, which is headed by one of our EC members is focusing only on future technologies, which, we believe, will become a pivotal part of our strategy going forward.”
“Furthermore, component manufacturers are already diversifying into newer product domains, and with its strong International Purchase Office (IPO) programme, ACMA continues to organise buyer-seller meets to match-make Indian companies with their global counterparts, which are willing to not just invest into technology, but are looking into a manufacturing footprint in India as well,” she said. Marwah cautioned that having the right human capital is going to be a huge challenge in the coming years, and companies will need to invest heavily in reskilling their manpower.
“We are no longer automotive, we are mobility, and the components industry will keep evolving as the automotive landscape evolves,” Marwah signed off on a very confident note.
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